"Experimental" Sex More Popular in 2010 than 1994

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

According to a study conducted at Indiana University, "experimental" sex is more popular in the US today than it was in 1994.

The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which took place at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, found that, when compared to results from a similar 1994 study at the University of Chicago, Americans are having more oral and anal sex. Heterosexual anal sex, in particular, is on the rise: the Indiana study reported that 40% of women between the ages of 20 and 45 have engaged in this particular sex act.

The Indiana University researchers asked 5,865 people between the ages of 14 and 94 about their sexual behavior and preferences. The study is "the largest nationally representative study of sexual and sexual-health behaviors ever fielded," according to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior's website.

The problem with this kind of study is that it's self-reported, meaning that people report their own sexual experiences to the researchers. While there's really no other way to conduct this type of research, it does leave room for bragging, lying and error.

For example, 85% of men said their partner had an orgasm during the last sexual experience they had, while only 64% of women said they achieved orgasm during their last sexual act. It's not clear what percentage of the 85% of men were reporting same-sex experiences, but it is clear that some of the straight men must be either lying or being deceived: the numbers just don't match up.

In more positive news, the study also found that in one in four acts of vaginal intercourse in the US, the participants use condoms. Among single people, one in three acts of vaginal sex are condom protected. Keep it up, America.